Wednesday, April 1, 2009

mohammed, mimi taka chocolate....

(pic taken when everything was green a long time ago...)

in a house filled with maasai sticks, knives, pangas, catapaults, bows and arrows, guns and every other weapon imaginable, and beautiful brave boys who i love more than my heart can bear, i decided it was time to dedicate a little post to the girlie wirlies of the house, of which there are two (vero and eliza excluded). i grew up in a house of women. my two sisters and i and my dear mother. when i first "Became Pregnant" (how on earth did that happen? certainly not immaculately...?) i automatically assumed it would of course, be a girl. so imagine my shock and surprise when the first boy arrived. i mean, how do you clean "it"? so by the time the second boy arrived (don't think you'll be rushing out to buy tutus and ballet shoes, i was told by the doctor when he perused the scan of a boy who was apparently much larger than the first), i was resigned (and delighted, of course) to the fact that i would be the feisty mother of boys. so when i "Became Pregnant" for the third time, i automatically assumed it would be another little boy called, possibly Tom, or something suitably short and sweet like it. and along came The Girlie Wirlie....Gabriella Lara Rosa Texiera Doria. A Big Fat Pink Girl, unostensibly and unforgettably deposited on my chest, new, with her little wings curled up neatly between her shoulder blades, who immediately loved to eat, who regarded us all completely solemnly for the first five months, poker faced. no matter what we did...where's the baby. boo. peekaboo. tickling. splashing. hopping about like mental people, dangerously contorting ourselves into impossible positions. she remained throughout our bizarre and desperate antics, solemn.

she eventually blessed us with an infectious laugh in jomo kenyatta airport when her elder brother was doing yet another rendition of Where's The Baby? BOO! and took us all by surprise. laughter, like water bubbling from the spring of the world, burst out into a hot gloomy afternoon! she hasn't stopped since. now anything and everything can make her laugh.

as a mother, jomo kenyatta airport has oddly enough, (i mean of all the gin joints..?) played a major role in parenting yard sticks. before The Girlie Wirlie arrived, before The First Laugh Incident, i was on my back from lamu, with two tow head boys in tow (hah) en route to lusaka. of course, there was a delay of hours. it was just before christmas. being the sensible natural earth mother i am, naturally, i perused the book shop and found, to my delight, a book filled with excerpts from all the great painting masters yet at the same time, with a christmas theme. i thought, aha, i can introduce my boys to the idea of christmas and what it's all about using these beautiful images. the boys were only three and one at the time and not prone to the drone of long stories or print. this book hadn't any words only vivid rich pictures. because we lived in the bush, at the time, in luangwa valley, they hadn't been cursed by television (oh hang on. someone had a copy of those dastardly telly tubbies i think, but that was it) and i am quite certain they had never been to or heard of church, god or jesus. their reality consisted of cake stealing baboons, elephants wandering through the garden, nyau dancers, long hot afternoons at the pool waiting for the clients to leave on game drives so we could hoover up the rest of the cake for tea, pam and her paintings, miranda in her uma thurmann phase, adrian and sandy's baby stalking leopard and being dressed up like mini michelin men in the dead of a summer evening so they wouldn't get malaria.

so there we sat, me serenely explaining the pictures. i noticed the crowd around me noticing me.... smugly reading the thought bubbles above their heads:

oh look at those beautiful children with that lovely sensible earth mother, occupying their time and blah blah and my halo became large and eye piercingly bright. god. almost unbearable. i mean, i was earning mega brownie points! there were nuns in the crowd too. i was on a roll.

i explained about the Star of David and pointed out the shepherds in a beautiful botticelli excerpt. the next painting was the stable scene....and i was saying and that's jospeh and mary and oh look, there's baby jesus....! and first born looked up at me, all of three, his angelic curly blond hair framing large chocolate innocent brown eyes and said in a loud coherent questioning voice:

oh. jesus fucking christ?

like it was his middle name.

well well well. exposed. finished. i think he had only ever heard either his father or me saying this at times of exasperation, which, at the time, were numerous. obviously.

anyway. i digress. the next time i sat there was with The Girlie Wirlie when first born made her laugh. finally. she has already been into a church, a record for the family. she talks about god, mary, jesus and his brother mohammed. oh and of course there are all my buddahs, laughing and travelling rotundly next to mary on the fire place.

while the boys have been blatting things with bows and arrows this week, we have been at home together. playing piano, making chocolate cake and licking the bowl, having foot wrestling matches (which she wins), ludo, which i win, and reading Green Eggs and Ham, impressing me beyond belief. i love how she colours in angels and draws flying dolphins with smiley faces, how she loves the cats and wraps them up, how she lets the horses lick sugar from her hands...
i love the way she dresses - in sparkly caftans and ribbons and satin slippers from Real Persian Princesses (thanks tira) while at the same time single handedly dismantling a chicken carcass with a primate dexterity. i love it how she thinks chicken pox are called chicken pops because they "look like a popped chicken"...apparently. for those of us in the know. i love it how she sings her own songs about golden fish and butterflies flying away to their friends. i love how she is a little magpie, making little junk collections which are to her, more valuable than the crown jewels. how she says princesses have such a hard time. i love how she can dance, how she loves music and knows where middle c she wore her cat suit to the coffee lodge for lunch and the boys were too embarrassed to walk next to us....i love how she adores books and stories and is indelibly attached to every single toy on her sparkly indian bed...

i love how she fiercely loves chocolate as much as i do...a worrying fact, come to think it. i shall have to be more cunning from now on. how she said at lunch (which was healthy salad and avocado) oh mummy, lets run away to mohammeds and i will say mohammed, mimi taka chocolate. (mohammed, apart from being a holy sacred figure for many, is also the man who owns space oil, a petrol station down the road, with a little shop which sells the freshest snicker bars and m & m's in the region.)

i love how she is my little shadow, constantly keeping me in check, reading my mind, teasing me. how she thinks she wants to be with me forever....

i hate it how my words can crush her so easily....

i love my Girlie Wirlie, irrevocably, unconditionally - a love like no other.
and chocolates of course.

bisous bisous bisous X X X Girlie Wirlie Ones...X j.

oh and PS: can you tell it's school hols? second post in two days...utterly prolific....(or bored...?)


adios and jubilantly over and out....!!!



mighty jo said...

i love this post. i have 2 young tow-headed boys who desperately need a baby sister to keep them in line! when they told me the first one was a boy i wondered what the hell i would do with a boy--turns out they don't give you time to worry about it.
enjoy the rain.
enjoy your babes.
take care.

P. said...

Oh, what a beauty. I feel an instant affinity with your daughter because I was also the youngest of three with two older brothers.

Val said...

i love how you love them in every way - and how this wonderfulness spills over from your hill to everyone you touch. xx

family affairs said...

It worked then!! Hooray. I shouted for rain for you at the same time as shouting for my nephew in a rugby match at Twickenham!! Gorgeous. I love girls. Aren't we the luckiest mother's alive to have pea in the pod girls?? Lx

Reya Mellicker said...

What I love is how well you know your children. A lot of moms project everything they think their kids should be. You? You open your eyes and take them in as they are. You rock and roll.

Hey, will we see pics of the rain? Please? I've been trying to visualize rain there for so long. SO GLAD it has finally arrived!

Janelle said...

great to hear from you mighty jo! yes quite. no time to hang about with boys around! HAH! XX j

thank-you P...yes. she is beautiful. and very funny...and lucky to be the youngest..the principessa...! xxx j

thanks sweet val..hope you get your blog sorted...? what the heck is wrong? hate all that techy j

oh the luckiest on the planet, lulu. and HOORAH it worked...! THANK-YOU!!! XXX j

thank-you lovely lovely wish i had taken some snaps but was so busy rushing around the little pink house with buckets and empty cold boxes catching all the leaks! oh there was water everywhere in the valley was GORGEOUS! next time will get a pic just for you... XXX j THANK-YOU!

Mud in the City said...

Beautiful post - love the pic of your daughter playing peekaboo with the horse!

Anyone who says boys and girls aren't different is nuts - we are all different and it is those differences that make us individuals.

Viva the rain! We even have sun in London. Perfect.

Dumdad said...

She's gorgeous - almost as gorgeous as my daughter! We thought our second (and last) child would be another boy and were gobsmacked when Princess Perfect (eventually) emerged; typical girl she kept us all waiting. I'm so lucky to have a boy and girl and, yes, they are very different, notwithstanding being different sexes.

Stop! Once parents start talking about their children it's a never-ending love-fest.

Instead, I'll have a beer. Cheers!

Tessa said...

Your Girlie Wirlie is beauteous...and so are you, her lovely, loving mother. Wonderful post - made me think about my girlies too.

Happy Rainy Days!

Word veri is 'amiesse'. I like that.

Angela said...

RAIN! Oh great! More, more! Me too, I have two older brothers - of course you KNOW one, and though they taught me to be their "fetch-and-bring-woman" (when company came and I had to sit on the male visitor`s lap and ask for biscuits)(at age four), we also had fun. And I got all the movies told which I was too young to see. But never, no never, was I appreciated as much as your girlie-whirlie! You are a great mom!

Janelle said...

hello mud! glad its sunny in londond am done with sun this side....i can almost hear the grass growing here! hooray. from the rain yesterday. hope we get more and more and more and greedy? xxx j

chin chin DD! thanks for swinging by and sharing your parental doting...yes yes. we can go on for hours eh? and we are SO LUCKY! xxx j

thanks darlin' tessa. yeah. the rain is so so so wonderfully j

hello geli! thanks for visiting. indeed i do know your lovely brother! thanks for sharing your growing up stories...i am sad you were never adored as much as my gabby....lovely comment from you....XXX j

Jeannie said...

I'm wiping tears from my eyes - of laughter that is. I've been a little concerned my three year old might let slip with Jesus's middle name one of these days too... At least if he does I'll know I'm in good company!

Your girlie whirlie is completely beautiful - what a joy. I'm toying with the idea of another baba one of these days... wonder if I'd get a girl?

Yay for rain! I could almost smell it when I read your big happy message - yay yay yay!!!

fush and chips said...

Lovely postr Janelle. I am smitten at the knees with broodiness, and that's a rare thing.

God bless.

Janelle said...

jeannie! thanks for visiting...glad you laughed at the jesus thingy...popped by yours and you're still in feb man! c'mon!xxx j

fush....fush?? have a biscuit and lie down...or better still a scotch and a panadol...remember when gerrie coetzee was accused of taking drugs before his winning fight and he said into the camera, in a squeaky voice for a boxer...i jus took a junior panado before da faat...don;t know what in allah's name prompted me to say aherm, where's the link...? toujours xx j

alex said...

made me laugh out loud hard! And well up.

you are a fabulous writer babes. x

Mama Shujaa said...

ailililililililili! vigelegele! Mvua imenyesha? Was it enough dear Janelli?

I love your beautiful one, your lovely girlie wirlie; hadithi tamu sana, eh? Keep them coming for the entire hols...

LOL on "fresh" chocolate!!1


Mama Shujaa

Wil Robinson said...

Wondering if there's an update on the rain.

It's hot and horribly dusty in Mumbai - we haven't had a drop of rain since September. And the monsoon is almost 2 months off.

I just wanted to hear about rain from someone...

Janelle said...

drought here...its in the papers...its trying to start...very late...but very thin and unproductive clouds...terrible! X janelle

Janelle said...

drought here...its in the papers...its trying to start...very late...but very thin and unproductive clouds...terrible! X janelle

thefamilyjulz said...

"i hate it how my words can crush her so easily...."

this is the hardest thing I've experienced with parenting yet. I'm so used to being kindly yet brutally honest.

ed said...



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